The Joy of Belonging
When Jesus prayed to God the Father, he was thinking of all those who believed and would believe in him. He was thinking of you. Jesus came because of God’s love for us and because God desired a relationship with us. Jesus came to make this possible.
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
We have what we need…through God’s word – the Bible, through prayer and through fellowship with believers, we have what we need to live this life as God would have us to. We have what we need to live a life of purpose.
Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
Jesus knew what it would take to reconcile us to God…he willingly paid the price for sin – because of an immeasurable love for us. In the beginning, he chose his disciples to learn from him and to follow in his example. He set them aside to tell all who would accept Jesus of God’s great love and forgiveness
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
Jesus gave of himself and he offers his joy. Jesus went to the cross knowing what it would cost him, but willing to do so to have a relationship with us. All the while, he was thinking of us asking God to keep those who believe in him knowing that living this life we would at times face persecution for his name sake. But, we are here to share with others that God loves us all and Jesus died for all – he desires a relationship with all – giving every one the opportunity to choose him.
And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
Not only did Jesus pray for those whom he chose, whom he gave his word to but also for us…knowing some day we would choose him. Not only do we now have a relationship with God through Christ, we now have fellowship with believers fulfilling God’s love for us by loving one another.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
We can have immeasurable joy in knowing that God loved us just this much. He prepared a way for us to have a relationship with him, to live for him and to one day be with him. This knowledge can carry us through every day, because we belong to him.